Mansfield, PA (December 16, 2011) – Pennsylvania’s oldest and largest natural gas distribution company – UGI – today celebrated its first-ever direct “interconnect” to Marcellus Shale gas wells, enabling the delivery of Pennsylvania natural gas to UGI customers directly from the wells. The occasion was marked with a dedication ceremony at the well site near this northern tier Pennsylvania community, followed by a celebratory holiday meal, cooked with natural gas, for local residents and leaders in a nearby fire hall.
“This is a great day for our customers, a great day for Pennsylvania’s economic growth, and a great day for UGI,” said Vicki Ebner, UGI Utilities’ senior vice president for customer and government relations.
“For the first time in history, Pennsylvania’s natural gas is flowing directly from the well to UGI customers,” Ebner said, adding, ”This direct interconnection from energy source to consumer is the type of infrastructure necessary for Marcellus Shale to reach its full potential.”
The occasion marked the start of the flow of natural gas from shale formations deep beneath Pennsylvania’s northern tier, through wells and a processing station owned by Shell Upstream America and Ultra Petroleum,, and into a UGI Central Penn Gas supply pipeline which feed some 15,000 customers in Tioga, Bradford and Potter Counties.
At the end of November, UGI announced rate decreases of 4.5 percent to 13 percent throughout the 35 counties included in the service areas of UGI’s natural gas companies. Ebner said today that the good news for customers will continue to unfold in the months and years ahead.
“Marcellus Shale has already had a significant impact on the market – UGI customers are paying about 30 percent less than they paid just three years ago,” she said. “We expect prices to have much less volatility in the near future because of the potential we have under our feet.
“The positive impact on consumer costs has led to a record number of conversions – energy consumers converting from other fuels to natural gas. All indications are that the market is absolutely ripe for this trend to continue,” Ebner said.
Also speaking at the dedication ceremony today were Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Vice Chairman John F. Coleman Jr.; state Rep. Matthew E. Baker, R-Wellsboro; and Tioga County Commissioner Mark L. Hamilton.
Afterward, area residents, local elected officials, economic development leaders and public safety workers gathered for a holiday meal at the Mansfield Hose Company facilities, several miles from the interconnect site. UGI employees shared with their guests a simple holiday turkey meal, prepared onsite with UGI-supplied natural gas.
UGI Central Penn Gas, Inc., headquartered in Reading, Pennsylvania, is a wholly owned subsidiary of UGI Utilities, Inc., which also includes UGI Gas Division and UGI Penn Natural Gas. UGI serves approximately 570,000 natural gas customers in eastern and central Pennsylvania. For more information, visit www.ugi.com/presskit, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UGIUtilities and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/UGI_Utilities.